Like lots of other cities, Montreal is probably busiest in the summer time. With music and comedy festivals, sporting events, and general tourists crowding the town, it seems like there are endless opportunities to go out and connect with this vibrant city and its people. And just because it’s September doesn’t mean that has to change.
In fact, the fall might be the best time of year to go out, meet new people, and enjoy yourself. The weather’s less stifling, the streets are less congested, and there’s still tons of stuff to do. Most importantly, there are still lots of ways to make new connections before the weather turns cold and we all want to stay bundled inside our apartments with a few choice people.
Between apple or pumpkin picking, the numerous museums and galleries, more music festivals, and the beautiful weather that still allows for afternoons in the park, there’s no shortage of things to do in the fall. But you might be worried about who you can enjoy these experiences with or how you can get to know the other people who are taking advantage of this season.
One way to meet new people before we go into hibernation is to organize a meet up. Meet ups are usually with people you don’t know or only know online but with whom you share a common interest. It’s often used for business networking, but you can use the same kind of format to meet new people in a social setting.
So how do you meet these strangers? You can try to organize a meet up with friends where everyone brings someone their other friends haven’t met yet. In this scenario, everyone there will know at least one other person, so it might be a little less intimidating to attend. Of course, that also means that at this kind of event it’s easier to play it safe and stick with the people you already know, so if you go to one of these meet ups, make sure you still do have some conversations with new people.
There are also lots of online tools to facilitate meet ups. You can use social media groups or pages that already exist to see if any local people are interested in moving their online conversations offline.
There’s even a website designed specifically for this purpose called meetup - easy enough to remember. On the website, you can find meet ups based on your interests and location, then you can opt to join in on the activity the group has chosen. If you don’t find anything that appeals to you, you can also create your own meet up that other people can then join.
One of the best parts of participating in a meet up is that you’re not only creating connections with new people, you’re also getting to know your city better. This is great if you’re new in town, but even if you’ve lived in the same place for years, trying new things or going to new places in it will foster your sense of connection to your home. Even if you go to a familiar spot, seeing it through a new friend’s eyes can help you see a new side of it.
So if you want to see the World Press Photo competition winners or walk through the Chinese Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens and don’t have someone to go with, try organizing a meet up, through whatever medium you feel most comfortable with. Or you may not have an activity in mind and just want to meet new people who you have things in common with to build up your friend base before the frigid months of winter overcome us.
Whatever the reason and regardless of the outcome, fostering relationships with your community can help you feel more connected and comfortable in your home and it can even give you a better sense of yourself.